Yale alumni rowers win Olympic gold and silver

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The U.S. Women's Eight defends its Olympic title to win the gold medal at the 2012 London Games. Taylor RItzel ’10 (back row, fourth from left) and Jamie Redman ’08 are members of the team. (Photo: US Rowing)

Taylor Ritzel ’10, a member of the U.S. Women’s Eight team (rowing), is the first Yale affiliate in the 2012 Olympics to win a gold medal.

In the same race on Aug. 2, Ashley Brzozowicz ‘04 and her fellow Canadian rowers won the silver medal, while the Australian team — which includes Tess Gerrand ’10, came in sixth place.

The U.S. Women’s Eight, which also won in the Beijing Games in 2008, successfully defended its title after leading in the race from start to finish, winning in a time of 6 minutes, 10.59 seconds. Canada finished a half-length behind in second, and the Netherlands took the bronze in the Dorney Lake race.

In addition to Ritzel, the U.S. crew includes Mary Whipple, Caryn Davies, Caroline Lind, Eleanor Logan, Meghan Musnicki, Esther Lofgren, Susan Francis and Erin Cafaro. Jamie Redman ’08 is a spare for the team.

Ritzel, a three-time national champion at Yale and the youngest member of the Women’s Eight, has said in media interviews that she would row in the Olympics in memory of her mother, who died of breast cancer in 2010.

Competitions are still ahead for incoming Yale assistant crew coach Sarah Trowbridge, who will compete in the Women’s Double Sculls, sailors Sarah Lihan ’10 and Stu McNay ’05, and men’s heavyweight crew member Charlie Cole ’07.

Editor’s note:  Rower Charlie Cole ’07 also took home a bronze in the Men’s Four competition. See story.

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